Polan v. Travelers Ins. Co., No. 13148

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtCAPLAN
Citation192 S.E.2d 481,156 W.Va. 250
PartiesJeffrey Charles POLAN, an infant, etc. v. The TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY.
Docket NumberNo. 13148
Decision Date14 November 1972

Page 481

192 S.E.2d 481
156 W.Va. 250
Jeffrey Charles POLAN, an infant, etc.
v.
The TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY.
No. 13148.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted Oct. 3, 1972.
Decided Nov. 14, 1972.

Page 482

Syllabus by the Court

1. Where the terms of an insurance policy are clear and unambiguous they will not be construed but will be accorded their plain, ordinary and commonly accepted meaning.

2. When a prescribed period of time, such as a full three month period of employment, is to be determined, all of the days of such period, including the first and last days thereof, shall be counted.

3. An insurance policy which requires construction must be construed liberally in favor of the insured.

[156 W.Va. 251] Steptoe & Johnson, Herbert G. Underwood, Clarksburg, for appellant.

Charence M. Rogers, Clarksburg, for appellee.

CAPLAN, Judge:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Harrison County in an action instituted by Jeffrey Charles Polan, an infant, who sued by his next friend, Lillian Polan. In that action the aforesaid plaintiff sought recovery from the defendants, The Travelers Insurance Company, a corporation, Mountain State Linen Service, Inc., a corporation and Mohenis Holding Corporation, alleging therein that he is entitled to a certain sum of money under an insurance policy issued by Travelers.

The case was submitted to the court in lieu of a jury on the complaint, the answer of Travelers Insurance Company and upon an Order Stipulating Exhibits and Facts. Upon consideration thereof the court entered an order reflecting its finding of facts and conclusions of law. An order was entered in favor of the plaintiff, directing payment to him in the sum of $3,840, plus costs, which represented the face amount of the policy plus interest from the time payment was due under the policy. Mountain State Linen Service, Inc., having been dismissed as a party to this action and service of process never having been obtained on Mohenis Holding Corporation, the judgment was entered against Travelers. After the motion by Travelers to alter or amend the judgment was denied by the court, this appeal was prosecuted.

According to the facts as stipulated by the parties, Charles B. Polan, the plaintiff's deceased father, was employed as a chauffeur-salesman by Mountain State Linen Service, Inc. on April 20, 1965. Mountain State was [156 W.Va. 252] and is a subsidiary company of Mohenis Holding Corporation. Charles B. Polan died on July 20, 1965 as a result of an automobile collision which occurred on July 19, 1965, after he had worked that entire day. This collision was not in any way connected with his employment.

At the time of Mr. Polan's employment and continuing to the time of his death a group insurance policy covering employees of Mountain State who became eligible within the terms thereof was in effect, having been issued to Mohenis Holding Corporation. It is agreed that under the classification of employment his beneficiary, if he, Mr. Charles B. Polan, qualified under the policy, would be entitled to $3,000.00. The following provisions of the subject group insurance policy are brought into question on this appeal:

'SECTION 1. EMPLOYEES TO BE INSURED:

'A. Employees Eligible:

'(a) Employees whose employment commenced on or before April 7, 1952 are to be eligible on the effective date hereof, and

Page 483

'(b) other Employees are to be eligible on the date on which they complete Three months of service,'

'B. Effective Dates of Insurance:

'Each eligible Employee is to be insured hereunder from the date he becomes eligible; provided, however, that any Employee who is not actually at work on the date his insurance is to become effective shall not be insured until he actually returns to work.'

'SECTION 7. ENTIRE CONTRACT: MODIFICATIONS (9)

'This policy is issued and delivered in the state of Pennsylvania and shall be governed by the laws of that state. * * *'

[156 W.Va. 253] The court, in holding for the plaintiff, concluded that...

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26 practice notes
  • Hensley v. Erie Ins. Co., No. CC917
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Octubre 1981
    ...requires construction must be construed liberally in favor of the insured." Syllabus Point 3, Polan v. Travelers Insurance Company, 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 2. Where the liability policy of an insurance company provides that it will pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the ......
  • Huggins v. Tri-County Bonding Co., TRI-COUNTY
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 8 Noviembre 1985
    ...which requires construction must be construed liberally in favor of the insured." Syllabus Point 3, Polan v. Travelers Ins. Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 4. Where a home owner negligently entrusts a nonowned vehicle to his son who injures a third party, exclusionary language in th......
  • Cherrington v. Erie Ins. Prop., No. 12–0036.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 18 Junio 2013
    ...by Potesta v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 202 W.Va. 308, 504 S.E.2d 135 (1998). Accord Polan v. Travelers Ins. Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 255, 192 S.E.2d 481, 484 (1972) (“[T]he terms of an insurance policy should be understood in their plain, ordinary and popular sense, not in a st......
  • National Mut. Ins. Co. v. McMahon & Sons, Inc., Nos. 17245
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 15 Abril 1987
    ...v. Blue Cross Hospital Service, Inc., --- W.Va. ----, 328 S.E.2d 356, 359 n. 3 (1985); See Syl. Pt. 3, Polan v. Travelers Insurance Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 (1972). This rule applies in this case not only because the appellee chose the policy language, Polan 156 W.Va. at 256, 192 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Hensley v. Erie Ins. Co., No. CC917
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 20 Octubre 1981
    ...requires construction must be construed liberally in favor of the insured." Syllabus Point 3, Polan v. Travelers Insurance Company, 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 2. Where the liability policy of an insurance company provides that it will pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the ......
  • Huggins v. Tri-County Bonding Co., TRI-COUNTY
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 8 Noviembre 1985
    ...which requires construction must be construed liberally in favor of the insured." Syllabus Point 3, Polan v. Travelers Ins. Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 4. Where a home owner negligently entrusts a nonowned vehicle to his son who injures a third party, exclusionary language in th......
  • Cherrington v. Erie Ins. Prop., No. 12–0036.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 18 Junio 2013
    ...by Potesta v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 202 W.Va. 308, 504 S.E.2d 135 (1998). Accord Polan v. Travelers Ins. Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 255, 192 S.E.2d 481, 484 (1972) (“[T]he terms of an insurance policy should be understood in their plain, ordinary and popular sense, not in a st......
  • National Mut. Ins. Co. v. McMahon & Sons, Inc., Nos. 17245
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 15 Abril 1987
    ...v. Blue Cross Hospital Service, Inc., --- W.Va. ----, 328 S.E.2d 356, 359 n. 3 (1985); See Syl. Pt. 3, Polan v. Travelers Insurance Co., 156 W.Va. 250, 192 S.E.2d 481 (1972). This rule applies in this case not only because the appellee chose the policy language, Polan 156 W.Va. at 256, 192 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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